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In the time of dying
I don’t want nobody to moan
All I want my friends to do
Come and fold my dying arms
So I can die easy
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed
There’s a lot to be said about an easy death.
Church promises an awful lot (or a great deal, if you prefer) to make dying easy.
Personally, I find a lot of comfort in the Buddha’s teachings. Not that the descriptions of why we’re in samsara are very flattering, but perhaps I will die more easily knowing I get another chance at enlightenment if I don’t realize it this time.
There’s also the Pure Land, not entirely unlike the Promised Land, which certainly makes dying easy.
There’s a lot of talk in Zen and Mahayana about how to make other being’s lives happy, but what about death? How does one go about giving someone a happy death? How can I help you die easily? It seems like a slightly different challenge. Or, from the other side, how can I make my death easy for those around me? I suppose if I were a total pain in the @$$ from now ’til then, no one will moan when I die, but that’s what I’m doing my best to avoid, here!
I suspect following the middle way in life will help make dying easier, from the point of view of dying without shame, guilt, or regret. Being present in the moment of death, not looking back, not worrying about what’s to come, just dying, would probably make things easier. Maybe all one needs to die easy is to have a loved one “make their bed”, hold their hand, be there. And just maybe, if I’m at peace and die quietly, easily, mindfully, loved ones will be less likely to moan.